Gentrification in Bowling Green, KY

By Alex Condo

On a bridge in Bowling Green, Kentucky, one side has newer, more clean architecture. Meanwhile, the other side has a generic liquor store and what looks like a former restaurant or gas station that’s been shut down. Gentrification can cause a situation like this.





It turns out that Bowling Green has a rich history of development and gentrification. Many communities have had to relocate due to these changes.

Shake Rag

This area was a predominantly African-American community, founded by people who fought in the Civil War. It started as a public square and developed into a very church-oriented and very tightly-connected neighborhood. During the 1960s, redevelopment caused many residents to move. Houses got torn down and built back up, and the land was used to develop Graves Gilbert Clinic.


This place is very similar to Shake Rag, with a close community that got bought and then renovated. Some say that there were no keys to your door or car, because the culture was so respectful of each other’s property. 

Plaza Fiesta

This area got bought out recently in November, and local residents are fearful of other changes. It may be possible that the culture will be phased out in place of the normal Kentucky culture, similar to the other areas.


Why do areas get gentrified?

Areas get gentrified to make a profit. Often, areas will charge higher rent due to the influx of richer residents, making the poor leave due to high prices, as well being forced out to rebuild houses. 

Kentucky is a fast changing and developing area, and that can come at a cost sometimes, phasing out a culture in favor of making money. It’s important to remember these cultures and try to respect them and the troubles they encountered.

Editors: Bella, Kai